Starlite Drive-In

Fort Myers, FL 33916

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Lincoln Drive-In

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Starlite Drive-In

The Lincoln Drive-In had a ‘soft’ opening on January 21, 1953 screening “His Kind of Woman” starring Robert Mitchum & Jane Russell. It opened on February 19, 1953, featuring the 1950 thriller “Dial 1119” with Marshall Thompson, Virginia Field and Andrea King. The Lincoln Drive-In opened as drive-in theatre “for people of color only”. Apparently, business was not too good which caused the drive to close. It reopened on May 9, 1953, as the Starlite Drive-In. Opening day feature was the 1950 western “Rogue River” with Rory Calhoun, Peter Graves and Frank Fenton. The second feature was the 1950 “Gun Crazy” with John Dall, Peggy Cummins and Berry Kroeger. In looking at a photoplay from 1951-52, it was advertised for white patrons only. In 1955 it was operated by M. Solomon & ABC Theatrical Enterprises. The Starlite parking ramp could hold 350 cars. It closed in January, 1970.

Contributed by Randy Studer

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on September 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Uploaded new pictures and movie ads. I would like to thank somebody for the pictures of the Starlite. They were on another Fort Myers theatre page.

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez
Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez on April 29, 2015 at 10:12 pm

Just to clarify, I just did some research (didn’t take me long on Google) and to clarify, the street this theatre sat on was originally called State Road 82 which was later renamed Anderson Avenue and in 01/15/1991, Anderson Avenue was renamed Martin Luther King Boulevard. I though this important to note here as I was initially quite confused given the fact that the listing here has the theatre on MLK, all the other old ads on here mention State Road 82 and my old herald I just posted has it on Anderson. All the same theatre and location-just a much-renamed road.

dallasmovietheaters on October 19, 2022 at 5:01 pm

The Lincoln Drive-In Theatre opened on January 21, 1953 for African American patrons with “His Kind of Woman” with Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on October 19, 2022 at 5:12 pm

I had the Lincoln opening on February 19, 1953 with grand opening ad. I guess I missed the January 21,1953.Grand opening ad. Thanks to dallasmovietheaters

dallasmovietheaters on October 19, 2022 at 6:29 pm

The Lincoln Drive-In Theatre opened on January 21, 1953 for African American patrons with “His Kind of Woman” with Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell. That policy lasted all the way until April 27, 1953 when the theatre closed with, “What Price Glory?” It rebooted on May 9, 1953 with its new policy excluding African Americans.

The animosity to potential African American patrons violating the policy were coded into ads and finally led to a lawsuit in July of 1967 with the NAACP and protestors involved. A Federal District Court ruled against the discriminating drive-in operator in late August of 1967. The theatre switched to an adult film policy according to reports. It would return to a mix of Hollywood fare and exploitation titles before closing permanently.

The Star-Lite’s last ad was on February 21, 1971 with an old-school exploitation fest featuring the venerable “See the Birth of Triplets (aka "Mom and Dad,”) Leon Ames in “No Greater Sin” and Kathy Hilton in “Fountain of Love.” Some 20 years later, the road that once housed the drive-in had been renamed Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

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